Yandex Metrika
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Saint Sophronius of Jerusalem, Wise Among Patriarchs

Saint Sophronius

Born in c.a. 560, he received a brilliant education and became known among his contemporaries as Sophronius the Wise. He was a spiritual disciple of Saint John Moschus and co-authored with him the Spiritual Meadow, a timeless work of ascetic literature detailing the spiritual struggles of monks at the monasteries of the Holy Land. He defended the true faith against the heresies of his time and wrote key liturgical texts that we hear at the worship services during the Great Lent, including the Life of Saint Mary of Egypt and three Lenten canons included in the Lenten Triodion.

He chose the path of monasticism early in his life and joined the Monastery of Saint Theodosius. There, he became a disciple of John Moschus. Together, they visited different monasteries in their area, talking to monks and writing down their experiences which they included in the Spiritual Meadow.

Fleeing the Persian invasion, the saints travelled to Antioch and then to Alexandria in Egypt. There, they assisted Patriarch John the Merciful in his struggle against the Monophysite heresy. While in Alexandria, Saint Sophronius had a serious affliction of the eyes and turned for help to the unmercenaries Cyrus and John. In gratitude for his healing, he wrote the lives of these saints.

In 634, he was chosen Patriarch of Jerusalem. As Patriarch, he worked hard for the welfare of his flock. Towards the end of his life, Jerusalem suffered a two-year siege from the Muslims. Worn down by the siege, the Christians agreed to open the gates of the city to the besieging armies. Negotiating the terms of the surrender, Saint Sophronius reached the agreement that the Muslims would spare the Christian holy places. Seeing that they did not keep their promise, he died in grief in 644.

March 25, 2024
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